7 Dec 2014

25 The Book, LIke 24 but an extra hour in bed!

5.59am (not 6am) Monday 13th November

Gullivar Lunt stirred in his bed as the depressingly suicidally mellifluous tones of Dido (the singer not the queen of Carthage) ushered him from the land of dreams, a place were he dreamed of quite wonderful and magical things. Her elfin voice massaging away his fatigue and drawing him into the waking world as if ushered in by a squadron of angels, who would again return at the dark time and guide him through the labyrinth of dreaming into the warmth of all consuming enveloping sleep where like a child in a parents arms he would rejoice in the comforting coma until the time of light had come again.
Or that would have been the case if he had managed to properly programme the highly stylish monolith of black plastic and colourful lights that was his 50 watt Dragov Mark 2 stereo.  He bought it five years ago because it looked great but was in reality pretty shitty. He had never quite worked out how to programme the thing. The clock continually blinked and the auto sleep setting had a mind of its own

So at precisely 5.59am, not 6am as he had intended the black hulking beast sprang to life, it was as if this thing had been skulking breathing slowly and deliberately in the corner of the room all night, darkly brooding as hot steam and static wafted from its sub woofer nostrils, stalking its prey, just waiting for the right moment to unleash such terror on the world, a terror so loathsome that men dare not speak its name for fear of being drawn into the impending desibelic carnage. 
Its blood red and radium green eyes glared with the menace of Beelzebub himself as it automatically jumped from Dido’s greatest hit (there’s only ever been one,)(yeah thanks Eminem) to Metal Bastard FM and spewed forth a vile and sickening cacophony of wailing maniacal screams that would send a shiver down the spine of  any self respecting Satan worshipper and have Banshees reaching for their ear plugs.  In actuality it was the third track from Megadeath’s second album, but you get the picture.

Gulliver was not much escorted from his sleep on a cloud of angelic love but more dragged kicking and screaming from the nightclub Hell by the Devils meanest bouncers, Basher O’Flynne and Fucker O’Basher.
He shot bolt upright in his bed as if a red hot poker had been shoved up his….once again you get the picture.  Crusty stuff that is pleasantly referred to as sleep but which in fact crusty stuff welded his eyes shut as the panic accompanied by the terrifying screams washed over him like an aural Tsunami.

He knew he had to confront the beast and so with no conscious thought or sense of direction sprang from his bed with the grace of a Gazelle, landed deftly on his feet like Olga Corbett executed a fast paced forward roll like Jack Bauer with perfecting time and distance, and as he emerged out of the roll his legs straightened, he executed a small jump landing with his front leg bent and throwing his rear leg out behind him like a fencer (the Olympic kind, not like the illegal Polish immigrant bloke who paved our back garden at a very reasonable £6 per hour) driving home his epee, he thrust a single solid digit forward like Bruce Lee and delivered the killer blow to the hard to locate off button, a skilled perfected at the Steven Seagal school of single finger death blows.

Or that would have been the case if he had been able to see straight. The crust in his eyes would barely give an inch, so half blind Gulliver swung his legs out of the bed taking the gargantuan duvet with him.  Having been wrapped around him for the best part of eight hours providing warmth comfort and some unexpected spooning the duvet was reluctant to let him go without a fight and clung to him like a drunk to a bar stool, and so a struggle ensued, man against 10 tog duck down.

The struggle ensued for a frantic ten seconds as Gulliver heroically managed to cast off the creature like a Masai warrior who has just clumped his first Lion.  He held it aloft, the Excalibur bird in the lake would have been proud of the extent of his holding aloftness as with one hand he deftly cast stained beast across the room.  However the beast was not quite ready to lie down.  As it floated from one side of the bed to the other it decided to take the pint glass (nicked from a pub, come on we’ve all done it) of Ribena that had been sitting on the bedside locker with it.  Gulliver could only look on in horror as the fallen creature began to bleed, the inky black stain growing bigger spreading across the now limp and lifeless form in the corner of the room.

With the strains of Megadeath’s third track from the second album still screaming at him, painfully loud Gulliver still had another job to do and had no time to wallow on the futility of the demise of a once loyal duvet, no matter how many ducks had given their time and feathers to produce the thing.

Gulliver sprinted across the room and was making good progress until a hitherto unnoticed enemy made its move, hidden like a sniper just under the bed by the bottom right leg was a pair of discarded pants which inevitably, as there is always an inevitability about these things, grasped at his ankles and he became tangled in them.  He was tripping and falling and flailing in mid air as he thought then fought to regain his equilibrium.
However although he had managed to avoid the fall his momentum had increased considerably and he found himself hurtling towards the black beast faster than the speed of light itself, just over 38mph.  Now Einstein, Stephen Hawking, Captain Kirk or any other notable physicist or light speed aficionados were not around to question the validity of this light speed hypothesis, so light speed it was.

The black beast was housed on top of a chest of drawers which was positioned against the long since redundant chimney breast (that’s chimney not chimley).  As with all single males’ drawers they were all open to various degrees, some like the bottom one were displaying all of their contents for the whole world to see while the middle ones were accessible yet still had an air of mystery about what might lay within, and the top one showed only a sliver of openness lending weight to the theory that the holy grail may be hidden in its darkened recess’s.
By the way that’s the general understanding of the grail as a posh cup, not Dan Browns theory that the grail is a young woman. To have a young woman stuffed into your sock drawer would just be weird.

As Gulliver slid majestically towards the beast at light speed, his composure now assured he failed to notice that the second drawer down was on the exact same level as his scrotum, a horribly deformity of an appendage that would one day be photographed for one of those medical textbooks, the ones first year medical students get out of the Uni library to show their mates the photos of all manner of freakish genitalia over a pint of snakebite at the student bar.  It’s a bit like the English language students trying to find which of the vilest words are contained in the Oxford English non-abridged.

As with the inevitable inevitability discussed previously his scrotum arrived at the chest of drawers a nanosecond before the rest of him, neatly and reassuringly plopping into the open second drawer without even touching the sides.  As the nanosecond passed uneventfully (what would you expect to happen in a nanosecond?) the rest of his body arrived, his thighs dutifully slamming the second drawer firmly shut with his hideously deformed ball holder neatly tucked away inside.

The blue white flash of pain that shot through his body was like nothing on earth as the beautifully crafted pine held on to Gulliver in its vice like grip as the black behemoth continued to scream death metal obscenities at him while the blood slowly drained from his already anaemic features. 
With all the strength he could muster which was not very much given his circumstances (just noticed that circumstances looks a lot like circumcised, very apt in this context)  Gulliver raised his left hand and with his flat palm he slammed it into the Dragove Mark 2 and finally the beast was silenced.

Once again the world was eerily peaceful, a quiet hush hung over the room a bit like the hush that hung over no mans land that Christmas morning when the Tommies and the Huns laid down their weapons and got together for a kick about, Gulliver even thought he could hear the faint song of a Nightingale or a Lark carried on the early morning breeze.

Gulliver was and is ever the optimist and so decided looking down was not such a bad idea I mean it was only his appendage caught in his T shirt drawer, I mean how bad could it be? The answer upon perusal was pretty darn bad. The one small saving grace was that luckily his old chap was outside of the drawer.  He had woken from a particularly sauce drenched dream and had one of those things that men all over the world tend to wake up with for no apparent reason, and as a result his todger and his ball sack (no to be mistaken with HonorĂ© de Balzac, those two could not have been further apart) were a small distance apart.
However pleasing this was to Gulliver his two wrinkly mates were definitely in there and the drawer was indeed as shut as it could possibly be.  Strangely enough there was no real pain now, only that horrible numbness you get for example when you cut your finger, but he knew it was there, he knew that unimaginable pain was just around the corner.  It was hiding like a 1940’s movie  spy in a trench coat and fedora hat sat in a Parisian CafĂ© holding up a news paper with two eye holes cut out just so it could observe him as unobtrusively as it could.

Gulliver knew what had to be done, and in order to extricate himself from this hand crafted dovetailed pine prison he was going to need to open the drawer.  He knew it was going to be a bad thing, he knew that in all possibility he was going to cry, however he knew he couldn’t drag a chest of drawers around with is testicles all day, I mean how would one negotiate the stairs and what about getting your trousers on?
He reluctantly grasped the expertly hand turned pine knobs shaped ironically like a couple of balls in his shaking hands.  He was going to count to three, then when he was least expecting it he would pull it open on the count of two, but in order for this to work you had to have another person who was not expecting it, to do it on, so three it was.  One, Two YANK!  Fuck he thought, he had actually fooled himself, strangely, something he would have to ruminate on at a later date but on the plus side his hangers were free.
The drawer flew open with incredible ease and his balls flopped noisily against his thighs.  That wasn’t half as bad as I thought it would be he thought.

Gulliver eventually regained consciousness on the bedroom floor after about twenty minutes.

FUCK!  I’m late for my first day at work he thought as he gathered up his bloated elongated Daliesque dangle bag and headed for the bathroom, very gingerly.

(that’s gingerly as in with measured careful steps and not as in the “ooh I say” limp wristed kind of gingerly) (not that there’s anything wrong with that kind of gingerly)  ( I mean look at John Inman) (Genius!)


Now before we delve into Gulliver’s past history I must allay any fears the reader may have that this is going to be one of those horrible past history things you find in one of those books that promises great adventures but makes you wade through the treacle of early memories. Like the 500 SAS books that all tell you about the gruelling selection process, or the book about some bad bastard who regales you with tales of woe from his childhood when he eventually realised at the age of seven that he could indeed bash up his “Orrible” step dad, eat a Rotweiler and how much he loved his dear old mum. (gawd bless her) (and remember you could always leave your doors open in them days)(sic) when all you really want to hear about is how he  murdered some bad slag and cooked him up and then buried him in an oil drum in the Essex countryside.

So don’t be fearful, tis not that kind of history.

Read on you delicious creature, read on!

Gulliver was, is, an average bloke. Average looks, average height, average build average IQ with delusions of intellectual grandeur. His book shelves were bulging under the weight of Stephen Hawking, John Paul Satre, Shakespeare, Sophocles and all the romantic poets, the old ones who did preposterous amounts of opiates and wore frilly shirts open to their navels, laying around on velvet discussing clouds and Frankenstein, not crap ones like west country wordsmith Pam Ayres.  There biographies of Francis Walsingham, Robert Marlowe, Nelson Mandela, (now free) (that’s the man not the book you still have to buy Nelson books)  Orson Wells and strangely Germaine Greer, just in case he managed to get a feminist sort back to his council owned love shack.

However referring to her as a ‘sort’ would probably not be the best way to endear himself to her.  None of the books had ever actually been read cover to cover but he did insert book marks at various strategic points in them to give the impression they had been.
It always helped to be able to go straight to a sauced up Shakespeare sonnet to impress the ladies. Unfortunately most of the ladies he got back to his dungeon of love only knew the big Shakes as the guy with the goatee on the sign outside the pub, which they would stare up at from the gutter on a Saturday night after thirteen sambucas and a flaming arsehole. (that’s the drink not their botties, having said that, after so much Sambuca some of them did indeed wake up the next morning with a flaming botty, such is the inhibition lowering qualities of Sambuca!)

Enter Oscar Fingle O’ Flaherty Wilde (who just happened to be strolling by)
“Madame you are in the gutter”!

Drunken Bints witty riposte
Yes I may be in the gutter but I am looking up at the stars (nice comeback)

Wilde’s parry and counter strike
Yes Madame but you are soaked in piss and vomit! (Touche!)

Gulliver however does have a more than average name, a name that has hung around his neck like an alphabetical albatross pecking at his self confidence, flapping its wings at his dignity and pooing on the shoes of his enthusiasm.
His life had been blighted by the infinite play on words that a name like Gulliver Lunt lends itself exquisitely to, and so there was no great stretch of the intellect that lead to him being unanimously being called a gullible c…  well once again you get the picture.

His father was a wonderfully jolly man who always wore a dark pinstripe suit and a bowler hat, and had a strange fixation with the fancy dress shop which he popped into most days on his way home from work, supposedly to see his Fez wearing friend Abdul who owned it. Now some suspicious gossips would imply they were ‘special’ friends but they we in fact just friends.  Mr Lunt would always return home with some strange souvenir of his visit, a wooden spoon here, a lump of rock there, weaving the seemingly innocuous object into some magical story to the delight of his enthusiastic son.  Gulliver held on to these precious memories until he reached the age of twenty five, he then knocked them out on ebay for beer money.

His father worked for Bundy, Neilson and Manson Medical Suppliers a small firm with an unusually transient workforce, none of whom seemed to stay for more than a week or so, and usually left without giving any notice, in fact they seemed to have left in a real hurry.  Mr Lunt spent most of the day incinerating the contents of the desks of those who had in his mind inconsiderably buggered off* leaving behind bizarrely their hats, coats, purses and hand bags, oh and yes man bags.**

* substitute buggered off for disappeared
** Man bags just like the one my mum brought me back from Italy about 20 years ago, resulting in millions of cries of GAY! As I sashayed like a Victorian Dandy through the throngs of not so beautiful people down the local High Street, way ahead of the great unwashed fashion wise.

He never really gave his job much thought as his wok day mind was a swirling typhoon of fantastical adventures involving pirates, (not to be mistaken with pilates which is an altogether different kind of Lycra clad adventure) Dragons, Kings, Queens and Spacemen.

Now as a would be and wanna be adventurer Gulliver’s’ father wanted his son to have a name that would set him apart from the crowd, a name that was bold and heroic, the name of a great adventurer he thought would be a wonderful gift for his first, well actually his only born.  Now although his father was an infinitely jolly lovely man he was marginally less well read than his son.
His father had discovered in an old dusty and battered tome the tale of a great adventurer who had himself discovered a now lost land called Lillyput, an adventurer who had never been honoured or given the recognition by the establishment which he so richly deserved for his amazing achievement. It must have been some kind of adventurers cover up conspiracy at the Travellers Club that kept this fantastical discovery under wraps.

Try as he might his father was never able to track down Mr Gulliver or any of his relatives and assumed he had been abducted, bound with duct tape and thrown bodily into some dusty Harry Potteresque  underground map room like all those milkmen from the Monty Python sketch or the lorry drivers from the Heineken advert. He would be kept trussed up like the gimp from Pulp Fiction while lesser adventurers like Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Sir David Attenborough poked him with sticks for their amusement.
And so in honour of the adventuring martyr Mr Lunt christened his son Gulliver Horatio Lunt, so Gulliver it was and Gulliver it is. It was not until Gulliver was twelve that he plucked up the courage to tell his dad that Gulliver’s travels was a novel not a biography.  This lead to a rather unfortunate incident with a packet of Birds Angel Delight, a big stick and some terrified pensioners, followed by a brief stay in a very white very soft room at the five star New Bedlam NHS hospital.  Which was actually just like the old Bedlam Asylum except the new one had more Managers, Administrators and MRSA.

If only the infinitely jolly lovely man had heard Johnny Cash’s  ‘a boy named Sue’, if he had he would have realised that an unfortunate name ultimately leads to “ kicking and a gouging in the mud and the blood and the beer”.  And as an infinitely inoffensive jolly lovely man he had never heard of the word that so effortlessly rhymes with the word Lunt (you know the one) and so the misery die was cast landing squarely between the eyes of the 8lb 2oz wrinkly newborn infant kicking and a gurgling in the Mothercare Moses basket.

His mum was also infinitely lovely lady, an enticingly pretty lady in a home counties country wife kind of way a cross between Nigella Lawson (before Saatchi got his hands around her throat) Julie Andrews with the merest whiff of Sharon Stone, the Sharon Stone (but with her legs firmly crossed). A constantly smiling lady in the perfect sense not in the slightly crazy way, a lady full of excited energy who baked pies, made jam and was often seen to skip down the road like a misplaced Maria from the sound of music.  Indeed it was rumoured that a brigade of Nazi storm troopers were seen lurking around the public loos as his mum pirouetted through Tesco’s but it was just a rumour.

She wore flowery dresses and bright red shoes and carried her shopping in a wicker basket not in those garish Dolphin and Tuna strangling plastic bags, the ones that ever so working class people nick from the local supermarket and use as bin liners!

So all in all apart from the name he had a good childhood, he was never beaten or starved by his parents, fiddled with by the swimming instructor, arrested for shoplifting penny chews or been caught in the bathroom thumbing through the lingerie section of the Freemans catalogue.

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